My brief absence, following the post about our crazy-expensive furnace upgrade, probably seems a little funny. Do you picture me keeled over on the floor, maybe in the fetal position and clutching my empty wallet, too shell-shocked to blog? Well, you’re not wrong. It wasn’t the furnace, though, that did me in – my computer died. I was actually trying to view Kristin’s (The Hunted Interior) house tour when my computer kicked me off and decided that I should get back to work instead. When I resisted, it did a hard shut down and a screen I’d never seen popped up. When it rebooted, things seemed fine until I realized I couldn’t save any word documents or view any pictures because the files were corrupted or gone. Luckily, I have an in with the best computer repair shop in town, but the prognosis is not good. When I was working on my dissertation I did a back up to an external drive every couple of weeks but I think the last time everything was backed up might have been…January?? I have tutorials and photos for so many blog posts that might be gone, never mind hundreds of adorable photos of Szuka (and other important stuff, is there other important stuff?). I’m hoping for good news (“we retrieved half the files and, coincidentally, they’re the ones you didn’t back up – yay!), although my luck’s not that good (“we retrieved half the files but they’re from a hundred years ago and ones you backed up anyway – yay!).
Worse than the possibility of losing so much work is coughing up cash for a new laptop, only days after the cheque was cashed on our spendy new heating system. Well, this is what I get for refusing to upgrade my laptop for seven years (it got me through a Master’s and a PhD – it seemed cruel to jettison it). I think I was officially the last person to run Windows Vista… Now the choice has been made for me: impromptu upgrade! I hope to be back to blogging regularly next week, as I’ve confiscated Hubby’s laptop, but some of my tutorials might be an exercise in visualizing the steps yourself. While I ponder another big purchase, I wanted to chat about a purchase that didn’t happen.
Do you remember me mooning over the Whitney dresser from Room & Board? I had spent ages looking at local furniture stores and then hunting online before finding what I thought would be the perfect fit. I loved the metal legs of the Whitney because I thought they complemented our welded headboard nicely.
At first I pined for the grey stain, but recently I had been really into the walnut. All of the Room & Board dressers seemed like excellent quality (solid wood, crafted in the States), and something we could invest in and enjoy for a good long time. I had wanted a low dresser and a highboy, which is the combination my Mom has, to maximize the space but still afford some room for my vintage posters and my little vignette:
I know it seems funny to buy furniture selected for its display prowess, but in the lakehouse we have few places to display treasured items and a serious shortage of wall space for art. Happily, the measurements of the two Whitney dresser were perfect and the low dresser and taller cabinet fit like they were made for our bedroom. Hubby and I made a trip to Minneapolis in August to hit up Costco, Ikea, Lowe’s (for the lovely furniture grommets) and order the Room & Board dressers – although a part of me hoped there would be floor models we could scoop up for a good deal, so I was prepared with packing blankets and ratchet straps, just in case. Save for the literal truckload of soy and canned tomatoes from Costco, we came home empty handed. We didn’t love the look of the Whitney in real life – the rounded edges are much more pronounced and seemed a little off to us. Unfortunately, none of the Room & Board dressers we had short-listed had the feel of a $2000 dresser. The drawer slides were a bit flimsy (the drawers actually rocked side to side), the finishes didn’t seem super durable, and, ultimately, we just didn’t love them. I mean absolutely no offense to Room & Board, or anyone who has Room & Board furniture – it’s just that $4000 is A LOT of money for us to spend on a pair of dressers and they just weren’t what we were expecting. I had spotted a dresser in a local shop, made in Canada, that was solid wood and retailing for a little less than the Whitney. It was excellent quality, with really sturdy but buttery smooth drawer slides and just really solid construction. It felt durable in a way that the Whitney didn’t. While I didn’t love the lines of the Canadian dresser (it had a bit of a hotel feel), it became my benchmark for quality. As we left the Room & Board store, Hubby muttered “so this is what square one feels like”.
Furnishing a home in a small city is more challenging that I anticipated, having previously lived in Kingston and Ottawa, cities which not only boasted more stores but were close to other cities for even more shopping options. We were never anything but overwhelmed by our options but here, back in Thunder Bay, I feel like our choices are severely limited. Two furniture stores that have a more mid-century/modern selection are closing in November, so pickins will get even slimmer.
Still looking to find a replacement for our maple dresser, which is actually on loan from my Mom, I started looking at Ikea. I’m contemplating a wall of storage – like maybe a Pax wardrobe? – which would actually be super awesome. The lakehouse is so much smaller than the townhouse and without a proper basement, storage has been a bit of a drag. With a giant Ikea unit I could move the linens from the linen closet into the bedroom, and turn the linen closet into a pantry which thrills me more than I’d like to admit (teenage-me would be very disappointed with how uncool my priorities have become).
I love this idea but have two reservations: most importantly, I’d have no home for my beloved vintage posters, which I love seeing first thing in the morning. I’ve just really grown to love them over a dresser. I could do something with varying heights, like this combination, but I haven’t looked much into what will fit. Perhaps more troublesome, I wonder if adding an Ikea wardrobe would just be too much Ikea furniture. The older I get, shouldn’t I buy fewer Ikea pieces and maybe buy better quality? Some kind of heirloom-quality piece to pass on to my niece and nephew, or something like that? Since we already have an Expedit, plus the Ikea floating credenza and an Ikea wall unit (the latter will be phased out at some point, but the other two are here to stay, for the immediate future at least), would adding a wardrobe just be too much Ikea for a couple in their (early!!) 30s? Granted, there are some pretty awesome Ikea wardrobe hacks out there, so a wardrobe has the potential to look really awesome. Plus, I don’t give a hoot about what “adults” should do because I’m not one to be concerned with the peanut gallery and their socially constructed norms. But still…I have this weird thing about Ikea.
Am I being totally ridiculous? Thoughts on my dresser dilemma?